Artist 3D prints replica of his own skull

A Dutch artist called Caspar Berger is producing a "self-portrait" by 3D printing a replica of his own skull, then layering "flesh" atop it.

In this project, Self-portrait 21, the 3D copy of the skull represents the true image (vera icon). This image has formed the basis for a facial reconstruction by a forensic anthropologist, who received the skull anonymously accompanied only by the information that it belonged to a man in his mid-40s born in Western Europe. This facial reconstruction is based on the available scientific documentation of tissue structure, skin thickness and muscle groups. The clay reconstruction has been cast in bronze to be presented as Self-portrait 21, a self-portrait that has not been made by the artist.

Skeleton / Self-portrait 21 (via Beyond the Beyond)



  1. MRI time is expensive, I suppose. Full body CT scan – he’d have got a hefty radiation dose from that, and without medical need, wonder how he got time on a scanner? Would be difficult in the UK due to ionising radiation regulations, and surely at least as difficult in the Netherlands?

    1. So which is it? Perhaps you are more familiar with what an MRI machine looks like versus a CT machine, so you can tell, but I can’t. But since CT involves ionising raditation and an MRI does not, your point hinges very much on which this is. As to MRI time being expensive, I would agree, but also say that people I know who have access to MRI machines have said that they have, on occasion, used the machines for things which aren’t, strictly, medically necessary. On say, “things” which don’t have medical concerns, as such. So for a consideration, I would imagine an artist could make a case for a non-ionising, non-medical MRI scan.

  2. I have an artist friend who arranged to have someone else describe his looks to a police composite artist, and then he displayed the composite artist’s drawings as a self-portrait. 

    It seems similar, but not as hard-core as this, though.

  3. @ Noah Django: Seems to me this idea, a facial reconstruction by a forensic anthropologist built atop a recreation of the artist’s skull, is not the same idea as a cast of the artist’s head made from his own frozen blood.

    1.  Very much different.

      I’m especially interested in the way the anthropologist remounted the jaw further forward on the head than the artist has in life. You can get orthomaxilar (sp) surgery to do the same thing if you are unhappy with a receding chin.

      The hazards of having a loose bone to work with.

  4. That’s wonderfully creepy – especially at the end of the video where he’s examining his own skeleton that’s (kinda) been pulled out of his body using the Power Ov Science.  I love a good squick and that’s a great squick.

    Looks like the tech is in place for Byron’s skull cup, from your own skull.  Memento mori. 

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